Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Mrs Christine Smedley

My husband was born in Kent and lived in a house near Moat Park. His family used to go there on occasion and there was a painting.of exotic birds on the wall, which he found he he very much liked to look as a child. In his thirties, we moved to Bath and went to a house there, where this painting appeared again, which he thought pretty extraordinary. When my husband was in his sixties, we moved to Guernsey - and, in a local auction room, this same painting turned up fo sale, with it's Kent and Bath provenance.

Death of relative

In 1994, in my capacity as Vice-Chair of my local Royal Naval Assoc. branch, I was invited to attend a commemoration service at St. Mary le Strand in memory of the death of several Wrens on the torpedoing and sinking of the SS Khedive Ismail in 1944. It was a very moving service not only for the dead Wrens but for all who died, some 1500 in all. In 2001 my last surviving Aunt (sister to my mother) asked me if I could find out how her brother, Stanley Birch, had died. He was an able seaman and had died at sea in 1944.

Shared boyfriend

At University I became friends with another girl. It transpired that we had both been travelling in our gap years and that both trips had included Malaysia, amongst other countries. Where? The Perhentian Islands. Which One? Small Island. Which beach? Long Beach. Where did you stay? Moonlight Chalets. When were you there? June. When in June? Turns out I had arrived three days after her and stayed in the same place. Not only that but I had snogged the guy she had been going out with!

name chance

In hospital after the birth of my first baby, I met a woman whose married name was the same as my maiden name and whose maiden name was the same as my married name.

partner birthday match

My parents have the same birthday (different years). As a child I thought this was the case for all mums and dads, i.e. everyone's partner had the same birthday as them. I now have a civil partner with the same birthday as me (different years), but he also has the same first and middle name as me too...

Photographer photographed

I photograph families as a portrait photographer, just before Christmas a mother and her adult daughter and husband came for a shoot at my studio, the mother, in passing, mentioned that her, now deceased, husband was a photographer but that it was unlikely that I would know him, of course I asked his name, Godfrey Argent. Surprised I replied, "of course I know him! In fact my father represented him as his agent AND I was photographed by him at the tender age of 16/17 years old!

Telephone call

My 15 year old son was walking past a telephone box on his way to the local sports centre. The box is half a mile away from our home. The phone rang and being a curious teenager he answered it saying 'hello'. The person on the other end said 'hi Jason (my sons name), is Gina there?' It was a friend of mine. My confused son said 'no not here' and put the phone down. Totally stunned as if in a dream, he hotfooted it home and recounted the incredulous incident! What a coincidence!!

Work coincidences

A few years ago a new neighbour moved into the flat next door to me, the sister of the previous owner and I had only met her a couple of times in passing on the stairs. We have now become firm friends and have shared information about ourselves. We were surprised to discover that we have both worked for the same solicitor, Westwood Morris & Co, Waterloo Street, Birmingham, but several years apart, and were able to share information and annecdotes about those who worked for that company.

Ticket birth date

For my father's 70th birthday my brother-in-law bought three tickets to watch England play cricket at Lords, three generations, my father, himself and his son were to go together. At random he put one ticket inside his birthday card. My farter noticed his tictet was 1517, he was born on 1st May 1917, his birth date was 1.5.17.

Dancing Match

We were having dinner on a cruise boat in Amsterdam with a Danish colleague. The band played ballroom music and our friend told us he was a former ballroom dance world champion. Our ballroom teachers were also former champions and we discovered that they knew each other from their touring days.

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